Celebrities and pros on the course at the TPC River Highlands during the Celebrity Pro Am last Wednesday.
Travelers Championship Tees Off in Cromwell
CROMWELL - The Travelers Championship swept through Cromwell’s TPC River Highlands last week, with celebrities and pros teeing off to mark the unofficial start of the tournament in the Celebrity Pro Am last Wednesday, June 19.

       The $6.1 million Travelers Championship, formerly the Greater Hartford Open and the Buick Championship, has been welcomed by residents since it relocated in 1984 to Cromwell from Wethersfield Country Club, where the tournament began in 1952.

       “Travelers is a good neighbor and we look forward to partnering with them each year,” said First Selectwoman Mertie Terry, adding the tournament is scheduled to be held at the TPC through 2014 and she hopes the partnership will be renewed beyond that. “They like to come here because we’re a warm community.”

       The tournament “puts Cromwell on the map,” Terry explained in her “Cromwell’s Corner” column in the July Chronicle, and, in exchange, the town worked to accommodate the added traffic of an event that drew thousands of guests before packing up and heading out of town Sunday.

       “The town crew and the police always step up to the plate; they’re always available and usually there are very few [glitches],” Terry said.

       Police departments from neighboring towns have also lent a hand with traffic control on Main Street.

       The guests in town also give a boost to local businesses.

       “They buy their gas here and eat here so it’s really good,” Terry said. “They stay at our local hotels and motels and use our restaurants.”

       Ken Duke beat out Chris Stroud at the championship, winning his first tour title.